Germany Fines Man for ‘Blasphemous’ Car Bumper Stickers

The Telegraph reports on a disturbing case out of Germany that serves as a reminder there are some western nations with blasphemy laws:

A retired teacher in Germany has been fined €500 (£400) for defaming Christianity under the country’s rarely enforced blasphemy laws.

Albert Voss, a former physics teacher and avowed atheist, was convicted of blasphemy after he daubed the rear window of his car with anti-Christian slogans.

The 66-year-old drove around his home city of Münster, in western Germany, with the slogans clearly displayed.

“The church is looking for modern advertising ideas. I can help,” one read. “Jesus, our favorite artist: hanging for 2,000 years and he still hasn’t got cramp,” it went on to suggest, in an apparent reference to the crucifixion.

Another slogan was targetted at the Catholic church.

“Let’s make a piligrimage with Martin Luther to Rome!” it read. “Kill Pope Francis. The Reformation is cool.”

Münster is a heavily Catholic city, and an unnamed local filed a complaint with the police, who seized Mr Voss’ car and suspended his driving license.

The former teacher argued the anti-Christian messages were protected by his right to free expression.

But the court ruled the slogans amounted to defamation of religion and had broken Germany’s blasphemy laws.

You can read the full article here.